Following several queries from radiology consultants about the need to hold an accreditation in cardiac imaging in order to undertake practice in these techniques, this statement seeks to provide clarification.
There is no statutory requirement for accreditation in any field of medical imaging in the UK and it is not mandatory nor required for consultant radiologists to hold any additional certifications in order to practise.
The scientific basis of imaging, including CT, MRI and radionuclide techniques, is a curricular requirement for all radiology trainees and this, together with clinical training in these and other modalities, is assessed as part of FRCR examinations.
Cardiac radiology is an integral part of the RCR curriculum. The curriculum requires that all radiology trainees should be able to perform and interpret cardiac CT examinations. These objectives for other forms of cardiac imaging (such as cardiac nuclear medicine and cardiac MRI) are included within Special Interest Training in cardiac radiology.
After the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT), radiologists are able to independently undertake the range of imaging and interventional procedures within the curriculum. Some radiologists may choose to pursue higher professional development to complement their training experience. It will be up to a potential employer to ensure that the radiologist has had appropriate training and experience and has the skills to undertake the expected work in their department, but an additional accreditation in cardiac imaging is not a necessary part of this process for radiologists.
Continuing professional development (CPD) is important for all consultant radiologists. In addition to formal educational opportunities, there are many examples of good practice including peer review audit, radiology learning and events meetings, case review meetings and MDT meetings. Evidence of CPD activity must be presented routinely at appraisal. For radiologists performing cardiac imaging, we strongly recommend that these activities are undertaken together with cardiology imaging colleagues to encourage a strong team ethos and ensure that high standards of practice and of patient care are maintained.